Eating on the Road

When we started planning our trip I spent a lot of time searching the internet for food ideas.  I found recipes and some lists of snacks for in the car (most of which we couldn’t eat anyway) but I still had no idea what people actually ate on a daily basis.  So I thought that I would write a post about just that… what we eat each day.

As you know I am a nutritionist and I would love it if I could say we ate a perfect diet, that the kids munched down on carrot sticks and ate a mountain of veggies every night but I am also a mum and a realist.  I have tried to keep this blog real too, giving you an idea of what it is actually like on the road with two young children and a long list of food intolerances rather than postcard perfect snapshots that don’t reflect reality.

So here it is… the good, the bad and the ugly of what we eat:

The Jazzy Devil is probably the most fussy and in some ways the most difficult.  There isn’t much you can do when a toddler decides he just isn’t going to eat that lovingly made meal.  Forcing the issue usually just makes things worse – a lesson I seem to forget on a regular basis!  The path of least resistance is our best bet at the moment and I just try to get some nutrition in wherever I can.

Jazzy’s breakfasts are:

  • Rice porridge made with rice milk with an egg yolk thrown in at the end of cooking and sweetened with “Heinz” pureed pear and banana
  • My homemade gf bread toasted with peanut butter and banana
  • Pancakes (I’ve been using ‘Bob’s Red Mill’ mix as it is so easy although not so nutritious so this is an occasional one)

Jazzy’s lunches:

  • ‘Vegemite’ sandwich made using my homemade ‘vegemite’ (see below for recipe) and homemade gf bread
  • Penut butter and apricot jam sandwich (I’ve been using St Dalfours jam as it is less refined sugar than some others) with homemade gf bread
  • Good quality gf ham off the bone
  • Hummus
  • Fruit (Bananas, pineapple, apple, tinned mango, small number of grapes)
  • When we are without power and have run out of bread I use the damper scones 

Jazzy’s dinners:

  • Some type of meat cooked on the bbq (chicken, steak or lamb chops) with his veggie mix that I generally make ahead and freeze – he has mashed pumpkin, carrot and apple or pumpkin and sweet potato.  Sometimes I add some gf pasta mixed with butter and a little celtic sea salt
  • Casseroles the rest of us are eating (see Matt and Mel’s dinners below)

Jazzy’s snacks:

Bubba actually eats pretty well these days although it can become quite difficult as he struggles with new foods.  It can take a while for him to accept something new and while, with some coaxing, he will take a bite, it does make it difficult when we are somewhere where his usual meals are just not an option.

Bubba’s breakfasts:

  • Soft boiled eggs with avocado on my homemade gf bread
  • Banana pancakes
  • Rice porridge made with rice milk and sultanas (unfortunately he won’t eat the version Jazzy does).
  • Bacon and eggs
  • Pancakes (I’ve been using ‘Bob’s Red Mill’ mix as it is so easy although not so nutritious so this is an occasional one)

Bubba’s lunches:

  • Jam sandwich on homemade gf bread with homemade raspberry chia jam (see below) (or ‘St Dalfours’ one when I run out), left over meat (chicken, steak, good quality ham off the bone), cucumber sticks and strawberries
  • Bacon and eggs (occasionally if we are at the van for lunch)
  • When we are without power and have run out of bread I use the damper scones

Bubba’s dinners:

  • Generally the same as Matt and Mel’s with the exception of some veg (he won’t eat asparagus) and instead of the salad we have he will have cucumber and tomato and I cook some pasta with butter and celtic sea salt.

Bubba’s snacks:

  • Chocolate cupcakes
  • Banana/apple/orange/pineapple/grapes
  • organic sultanas
  • ‘Meredith Dairy’ sheep yoghurt with pure maple syrup or mashed banana (only when I have it as it is difficult to get hold of)

Matt & Mel’s breakfasts:

  • Gf toast with peanut butter and banana
  • Homemade muesli
  • Banana pancakes
  • Eggs on toast
  • Bacon and eggs
  • Pancakes (I’ve been using ‘Bob’s Red Mill’ mix as it is so easy although not so nutritious so this is an occasional one)

Matt & Mel’s lunches:

  • Gf crackers (either black rice, quinoa ones or the new sunflower seed and fig ones available at supermarkets) with goats cheese, yumi’s dip (this has a preservative in it which I don’t like but I don’t have the time to make my own), veggie sticks (cucumber, carrot and capsicum), olives, avocado
  • Gf wraps (I like the BFree ones with seeds that you can get at Woolies) with chicken, avo and lettuce
  • Gf wraps with ham, avo, lettuce and goats cheese
  • Bacon and egg gf wraps with avo, mayo and beetroot relish (an occasional treat if we are at the van for lunch)

Matt & Mel’s dinners:

  • Meat of some sort cooked on the BBQ (steak, chicken, lamb chops, good quality gf sausages, burgers, fish etc)
  • Meat gets paired with either veg (mashed pumpkin and sweet potato, potatoes fried on the bbq, corn, asparagus, broccolini, roast veg done in the weber, etc) or salad (any mixture of salad veg, rice salad, pasta salad – home made of course, coleslaw, etc)
  • Honey mustard chicken
  • Kid friendly curry
  • A gf pasta dish that has a vegetable based ‘sauce’ unfortunately without tomato as the Jazzy Devil can’t eat it.
  • Savoury mince

We also have some occasional treats along the way which include 70% dark chocolate, ‘fun size’ packet of kettle sea salt chips, the very occasional gf/df sorbet and some dinners and lunches out at cafes or the pub.

So there you have it.  That it pretty much what we eat.  These meals are generally quick to prepare with as many veg and healthy fats as I can manage to squeeze in and most importantly available while on the road!

Hopefully for those out there reading that are travelling or enjoy doing some camping this gives you a few ideas.  Before I go I will leave you with the recipes for my homemade ‘vegemite’ and raspberry chia jam.  Next post I’ll be back to our travels with another recipe for you.  Until then, eat well & live happy.

xMel

HOMEMADE ‘VEGEMITE’

1/2 cup black tahini

4 tbsp gf tamari

2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well until all combined.  Store in a jar in the fridge.

RASPBERRY & CHIA JAM

Approx 350g frozen raspberries (organic is best because of the high level of pesticides sprayed on them)

2 tbsp honey (or more to taste)

2-3 tbsp chia seeds (depending on how thick you like your jam)

Place raspberries and honey in a small saucepan over a medium heat.  Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 20 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add chia seeds and mix well.  The jam will thicken as it cools and the chia seeds soak up the liquid.  Store in a jar in the fridge.

 

And We Are Off!

After 6 months of planning and one very hectic week packing, cleaning, cooking and tying up loose ends we are officially “on the road”!

To keep the kids happy we are trying to limit our driving days to 3 to 4 hours so our first stopover was in Albury.  A stop for lunch and a play in Benalla then a visit to the Ned Kelly homestead and museum broke up our drive.  It always makes me laugh that so much of our colonial history involves either convicts or bush rangers! Of course because we like to keep things interesting we decided to brave a showground rather than a caravan park for our first night.  Thankfully it paid off really nicely! Huge amount of space, power and really hot showers all for the bargain price of $20 a night. Needless to say we are showground fans now.  A last minute trip to bunnings for an electric fan heater kept us toasty warm and very grateful as the mercury dropped to 1 degree overnight.  It was a little frosty packing up the next morning.

Our second day was another driving day to get us to Canberra (thank god for iPads and portable dvd players – how did parents manage before these were invented?!?). We stopped off to pay a visit to the doggy on the tucker box and eat our own tucker.  On the menu was a selection of various fruit suited to each person’s intolerances, sandwiches for the kiddos (I’ll get to these in another post!) and egg, mayo and salad gf wraps for mum and dad.  Supplemented by a much needed coffee from Olivers.  I have found Olivers very handy for travelling on the highway.  They cater for gluten and dairy free! And have a large selection of quite healthy food choices… hello steamed green beans in chip box.  Scattered along the highway in Victoria and New South Wales, they have come in useful on those less organised car trips.  Plus they have almond milk for my coffee which is always a good thing!

So to celebrate our departure I thought I’d share one of my favourite snack recipes at the moment.  I call these raw carrot cake bliss balls.  Unfortunately the Jazzy Devil calls them poo balls.  I’ll let you decide on the name.  These are gluten free, dairy free, can be tree nut free if you sub the almond meal for ground sunflower seeds and pepitas as I do (note they still have peanuts) and can easily be low FODMAP by swapping the honey for pure maple syrup.  I love them because they taste naughty but are actually quite healthy.  With plenty of protein they make for a super simple, filling snack on the go.

Until next time, eat well and live happy

xMel

RAW CARROT CAKE BLISS BALLS

3/4 cup almond meal (or ground sunflower seeds & pepitas)

3/4 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 cup good quality crunchy peanut butter

1 lge carrot grated (then chopped smaller with a knife)

1 1/2 tbsp cocoa

2 tbsp honey

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl with a spoon or your hands.  Roll into balls.  Refrigerate for several hours before eating. (Store in the fridge in an airtight container)

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